Research has shown that the Coronavirus can live on some surfaces for as long as three days. While we all know that washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds can keep us germ-free, the virus could still be living on many of the mobile devices we use every day including smartphones, tablets, watches, and laptops. As the average person touches their face more than 16 times an hour, it’s important to know how to properly disinfect these devices before we inadvertently transfer viruses and bacteria from our phones to our skin.
Recently, Apple released recommendations for users to safely clean their Macs, iPads, iPhones, and iPods with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipes, such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. AT&T’s cleaning guidelines also suggest that users should spray a nonabrasive or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol-based disinfectant directly onto a soft lint-free cloth and wipe down the device when it is powered down and unplugged.
Smartphone users have also been investing in UV sanitizing devices such as PhoneSoap. By using UV-C light, PhoneSoap claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria, pathogens, and viruses. Best of all, PhoneSoap can charge your phone while its being sanitized. Keep in mind that the company has not yet confirmed if its products would effectively neutralize the Coronavirus.
While we know that isopropyl alcohol and UV-C light are great options for banishing germs, it’s also important to know which cleaning products should be avoided to keep devices in good condition. Rubbing alcohol, for example, should never be used directly on smartphones as it can wear away the protective coating faster over time, causing it to be more prone to scratches. Dish and hand soaps should also be avoided since they would have to be mixed with water and could potentially damage internal components. Most importantly, never use bleach or abrasive cloths and towels on any of your devices.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep our hands and mobile devices clean. Following these guidelines can help prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 and will surely give us all peace of mind during this uncertain time.